Notes From the Redwoods

 July 25, 2022


Welcome Incoming Tranfer Students!

Dear entering Transfer Students at Kresge College!


I’m the Provost of Kresge College, and I want to welcome you to Kresge and to UC Santa Cruz! Kresge is a community like no other. Students come to Kresge for its fierce independence, its highly participatory approach to community and learning, and the mutual respect students have for one another. 


Kresge College has a rich tradition of supporting transfer students, and we welcome you and your families to make yourself at home at Services for Transfer and Re-entry Students (STARS) on the second floor of our Academic Building. STARS is dedicated to serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and needs, and provides mentorship, counseling, student leadership opportunities, events, and comfortable study spaces. 


I also invite you to consider some of the other courses we offer at Kresge that can contribute to your growth as a scholar, activist, naturalist, and communicator.


A few other things about Kresge: for three decades we have been the proud host of UCSC’s LGBTQIA+ Pride celebration and education and a site for major campus events in media studies, student cooperatives, ecological responsibility and environmental justice. We offer practice-oriented enrichment courses in journalism, natural history and field observation, creative writing, and transformative justice in prisons. And here’s the most important part: all the way back to our founding in 1971, we at Kresge pride ourselves in being a college that constantly reinvents itself under the leadership of the newest voices in our community. What will Kresge become, now that you’re here? 


Finally, don’t skip these crucial announcements—thank you for reading each one carefully! 


  1. By now you will have received detailed information about the Online Orientation Course: Kresge 1T: Introduction to Research Universities and the Liberal Arts, and we hope you have been making progress on the course. Here are a few reminders about this course; please read them carefully:

  • Instructions on how to access the online Orientation Course were sent directly to your UCSC email account

  • Kresge 1T is required: you have been automatically enrolled in it, for Summer quarter. Access to its online materials began on June 21. 

  • Kresge 1T is asynchronous: there are no scheduled meetings. There are some deadlines to meet, and web-based discussions, but you’ll make your own decisions about when to participate and engage with the course materials.

  • Kresge 1T is graded Pass/No Pass, and will earn you 1 unit toward graduation. You should expect to spend about thirty hours on the course throughout the summer.

  • The course orients you to our academic advising system, prompt you to explore your educational goals, and introduce you to habits and styles of engagement that have helped past students succeed and thrive at UCSC. You’ll also meet a team of Orientation leaders who will help guide you along the way. The course will prepare you to choose your fall classes, show you how to use your “MyUCSC” portal to enroll, and keep you on track to meet critical deadlines.

  • Kresge 1T is in three parts: Living and Learning Communities, Shaping Your Education, and Opportunity and Student Success. We strongly encourage you to complete course materials in a timely manner, meet all its deadlines, and maximize your flexibility and options in fall enrollment.


  1. Kresge College is also the home of your Academic Advising Team — Preceptor Sarah Shane-Vasquez and Academic Advisors Casey Daubert and Kristyn Crouse. Sarah, Kristyn, and Casey provide you with all kinds of support—from your transition into research university learning, to helping you give shape to your UCSC experience, and your path toward graduation. They have rich experience and lots of ideas to support your academic success. Your questions to over the coming months are most welcome! The advising website linked above always has the most current information about in-person and Zoom advising appointments.


Finally - this is important! - please check your UCSC email account regularly (your “” email)—many crucial communications from UCSC will only be sent to that address. Required communications about your orientation course, enrollment, academic advising, housing, and essential campus policies will be sent to that address.


Stay tuned for more from the Office of the Provost (, and from your advising team ( in the coming weeks! Social media is not required but to help you stay connected to academic and social events at Kresge, please consider following us on Instagram (@kc_ucsc), Twitter (@KresgeCollege), or Facebook.


We’re thrilled that you'll be joining our community. Thank you for being the heart of Kresge!




Mayanthi Fernando,

Kresge Provost


Sarah Shane-Vasquez,

Kresge Preceptor



July 7, 2022

Welcome Provost Mayanthi Fernando!

We are excited to announce that as of July 1, Associate Professor of Anthropology Mayanthi Fernando has assumed leadership of Kresge’s academic community as its newest Provost. Her appointment follows a rigorous recruitment process conducted by staff, students, college provosts, and other faculty, during the academic year 2021-2022. 


Dr. Fernando (Ph.D. University of Chicago, B.A. Harvard University) studies the way religion and sexuality come together in political and legal conflicts over public space, citizenship, and minority rights in France. Her first book, The Republic Unsettled: Muslim French and the Contradictions of Secularism (Duke University Press, 2014), examines how Muslims are continually excluded from French society as well as how Muslim French activists nonetheless claim Islam as a practice of French citizenship. Professor Fernando has recently turned to questions of form and genre, and how to tell stories that exceed conventional academic narratives, and she is close to finishing a second book on “the secular uncanny,” which draws on Islamic studies and animal studies to rethink what we understand as the natural world.


Professor Fernando teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses. Her undergraduate courses include Modernity and Its Others, Religion and Politics in the Muslim World, Religion/Gender/Sexuality, and Postcolonial Britain and France. Her graduate theory courses include Science, Secularism, Religion, Human/NonHuman Entanglements, and the Anthropology of Freedom. She often teaches theory courses in the undergraduate and graduate curriculums of the Anthropology department, and she has served as Director of Undergraduate Studies and Director of Graduate Studies for the department.


Professor Fernando is an affiliate of the UC Santa Cruz departments of Feminist Studies and the History of Consciousness. Between 2018 and 2022, she co-directed the Center for Cultural Studies, an interdisciplinary center bringing students and faculty from the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences into conversation and collaboration. She recently served as Interim Provost of College 9 and College 10 (now John R. Lewis College).


She will bring her broad intellectual and teaching interests and her rich administrative experience to Kresge. Kresge’s academic and residential life leadership knows that the Kresge Community shares their excitement about coming collaborations with Dr. Mayanthi Fernando — so please join us in welcoming Provost Fernando!


March 19, 2022

Dear members of the UCSC community,


    I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy. 

    These past twelve months have been filled with exciting changes for Kresge College (not to mention for the university as a whole), with the campus reopening for in-person instruction and undergoing a historic renovation. 

Additionally, this past year saw Kresge’s flagship lecture series, Media and Society, presenting a slate of talks by luminaries ranging from former San Francisco Poet Laureate Tongo Eisen-Martin to members of UCSC’s own faculty, including A.M. Darke (Games and Playable Media) and Craig Haney (Psychology). As always, the series featured lectures and public conversations about the role of media, journalism, popular culture, and representation in contemporary society, although we’ve used the pandemic’s restrictions upon in-person events as an opportunity to increase our accessibility and reach an even wider audience through a variety of remote events, some of them co-presented by The Humanities Institute and Kresge’s core course, Power and Representation.


As part of our Spring Give campaign, I write to you today to humbly request your support for this vibrant series so that we can not only prepare an even more ambitious agenda for the year to come but also remain a magnet for campus’s intellectual energies and a powerful anchor for what it means to be a Kresge student. Please consider helping Media and Society by making a small donation.


    In the past, your support has enabled Media and Society to host electrifying speakers on campus, including Teju Cole, Amy Goodman, José Antonio Vargas, Lawrence Bartley, Safiya Umoja Noble, and UCSC alumna Martha Mendoza. We’ll be closing the year with a historic collaborative concert-discussion featuring the great Pamela Z and co-hosted with IAS's Surge: Afrofuturism and the Department of Music's DMA program, and we hope you’ll join us then and in many events to come.

    Thanks, on behalf of the Kresge community, for your consideration and generosity. 


All best,

Provost Ben Carson

Kresge College



 October 11, 2021

Returning to Beloved Kresge — In Myriad Ways


Greetings advancing aeronauts, bright bystanders, calmers and collectors, deliberators and daredevils, luminous litigators, long-lost friends, and cherished alumni of Kresge College,


I hope you received our summer message, about the exciting launch of our humble 50th-anniversary celebrations. Can you make it? Let us know! I’d love to have you join us as the potent words of San Francisco Poet Laureate Tongo Eisen-Martin, in conversation with our own faculty, launch our newest core course this coming Thursday, October 14. Or come to our hybrid (in-person and remote) discussion of Kresge’s future on Saturday the 16th … or both!




Believe it or not, Kresge is still here! As you know, over the past twenty months or so, Kresge’s fantastic faculty, staff, and students have worked harder than ever under conditions I’m sure no one could have imagined. As we take stock of where we’ve been, and chart a new path forward, I wanted to take this opportunity to reconnect with you and share some of our community’s stories.


And those stories go all the way back to the Fall of 2019—for many that era will seem like a time of innocence, but for Kresge, it was a time of tremendous challenge, that built new strengths into our lives. It was a time of communities damaged by thick smoke and fire, rolling blackouts, and demanding new creativity and imagination as we supported students and staff who confronted loss of family and friends, sometimes displaced from homes or needing to support family under unprecedented conditions. It was also a time in which we struggled to make sense of the events of May and June, as they redefined our nation’s sense of justice, and “equal protection under the law” in the wake of the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Since 2015, long preceding these world-defining tragedies, Kresge’s core course has centered on questions of equity and criminal justice, and so our community felt a heightened sense of responsibility in making sense of a long-overdue reckoning of racial justice in our media environment.


You can imagine our sadness when another blackout struck, on the day of the first Media and Society lecture, led by the extraordinary Teju Cole, whose journalism is focused on just thoser issues. Teju Cole, a New York Times photography critic and professor at Harvard University, promised to galvanize Kresge’s legacy of critical thinking about media. We braced ourselves for disappointment, but ingenious and hard-working staff like Beth Herndandez-Jason, helped by the generosity of administrators across campus, pitched hard toward an unlikely solution: procuring generators and moving an audience of ~360 to a new location and time of day. And our reward was a wonderful coming together, and powerful conversation that — though wwe would all soon remember these as “before-times” — provosts and department chairs at several colleges and departments would not soon forget.


Believe it or not, 2020 began brightly for Kresge College. We leapt into UCSC’s first Deep Read (Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments, a sequel of The Handmaid’s Tale) with unique energy and enrichment. Kresge faculty, staff, and students gathered — once in a group of dozens and other times just five or six — to read the work out loud to each other, traversing Atwood’s breathlessly paced story of Gilead, and all its dimensions and characters, in each other’s company, following it with open-ended critical conversation. Though we were interrupted, as March arrived, by the first restrictions on our abilities to gather, the resonance of Atwood’s story of justice forstalled stayed strong in our minds and hearts as awareness of issues of justice on our own campus ascended. The Cost Of Living Adjustment protests of February 2020 shook our campus even more deeply, and Kresge’s academic staff and faculty found it more challenging than ever to ensure we could deliver the extraordinary education that we’ve promised our students. Although the questions of how best to pursue justice for campus workers, including teaching assistants, divided us deeply, we were united in many of our deeper aims. After a series of dialogues with our students, both online and in-person, I collaborated with Oakes Provost Marcia Ochoa in an open letter, to ask that our administration maintain academic and intellectual freedom as the foundation of our community’s values. 


I do not need to tell you that just a few short weeks later, SARS-CoV2 redefined our world— forcing us to adapt in ways we couldn’t have imagined even months prior. But Kresge also found resilience at almost every juncture of this pandemic. Our courses kept their vitality, and our faculty found ways to make zoom interesting. We had to shift our approaches in a dozen unexpected situations, often exhausting, and often tragic, to meet students “where they were” in their new-found challenges: displacements to care for aging relatives whose care diminished, lost loved-ones, lost income from lost jobs, itself intensifying the need to work and study remotely. And in early June, we were proud to keep Kresge’s tradition of hosting the campus PRIDE festival: Pride Was a Riot. This brought us a mixture of celebration and education that Kresge has fostered powerfully since the early 1990s, this time in the form of an open mic and “Zoom” dance party, co-hosted with Games and Playable Media’s Professor Micha Cardeñas—the first time any of us had ever tried this—but it worked! A grand, social-distanced time, with much-needed release and celebration, was had by all. 


The disruptions of spring pivoted to a new 2020-2021 academic year, not without struggle, but much more gracefully. Thanks to core faculty leaders like New York police abuse investigator and frequent Los Angeles Book Review contributor Daniel Pearce, and transformative justice activist and sociologist Megan McDrew, we embarked upon an educational collaboration with the Marshall Project, and our individual and collective responsibilities to justice. And your entering class in fall 2020 was more energized and empowered than perhaps ever I’ve seen — whereas past Kresge classes have enjoyed numerous stages for their final projects and presentation at the end of the quarter, Kresge’s had to be happy with digital expression, and they certainly rose to the challenge! Check out their amazing publication, Creative Interventions: I know you’ll be as impressed as I was, by the dedication and imagination of Kresge’s entering class of 2020, to make real, and potent, their learning in our extraordinary course.


And now we commence a new journey - How do we welcome new frosh, and old frosh — last year’s class being newcomers to our physical space — at the same time? How do we safely rediscover our in-person potential, and the marvelous resource that is the physical campus, taking the best of our new skills and old to channel a great educational journey? Let’s get it started together. I hope we’ll be able to see you all virtually on the 14th, with Tongo Eisen-Martin, or on the 16th for discussion of our new campus-in-bloom—either virtually or in person. These events mark our 50th year as a college, and the beginning of a new era—an era in which I hope you’ll stay connected to us. They also mark the beginning of an exciting Media and Society lecture series, roaring back to life with Professor A.M. Darke on November 16th, Craig Haney on March 1st, and on May 14th the inimitable luminary of multi-media arts, Pamela Z. (All events at 7 PM, and for more on each of them, stay connected to our Media and Society webpage.)


I’m looking forward to shaping this new world with our community’s newest members. And what I hope is a forgivable hiatus, I’m looking forward to including you all in that conversation too. Until we meet again!


All best,

Provost Ben Carson

Kresge College


June 18, 2021

Welcome 2021 Frosh, to Kresge College At UCSC!


Greetings entering Kresge frosh!


On behalf of Kresge College staff, faculty, and student leadership, it is my privilege to be among the first to welcome you to UC Santa Cruz. I have some important announcements below—you need them, so make sure you read them carefully—but first, I hope you’ll allow me a little storytelling.


About Kresge: As you may already have begun to see, Kresge College is an extraordinary place. We’re famous as a community that leads from grassroots upward, with student-centered approaches to learning and living. We are the traditional host of UCSC’s LGBTQIA+ PRIDE celebration and education, a site for major campus events in media studies, student cooperatives, ecological responsibility, and we offer enrichment courses ranging from journalism, to observation in the natural landscape, to narratives of prison and policing. Known as “the writers’ college”, Kresge has a history of thinking outside the norms of what a college is1, and what it can do—and our student groups, staff, and faculty proudly search for new ways to expand the possibilities of higher education. Perhaps most important—all the way back to our founding in 1971, at Kresge we pride ourselves in being a college that constantly reinvents itself under the leadership of the newest voices in our community. What will Kresge become, now that you’re here?


Online Orientation: You have recently received detailed information about UCSC’s Online Orientation process. This orientation to UC Santa Cruz will be delivered in your first university course, Kresge 1A: Introduction to University Life and Learning. This required course will guide you through a wide range of opportunities and resources at UC Santa Cruz, assist you with the challenges of planning your education, and introduce you to habits and styles of engagement that can meaningfully contribute to your learning and success. Unlike most UCSC courses, Kresge 1A is online, and ‘asynchronous’, which means that there are no scheduled meetings required of you. There are some deadlines in the course, but you will make your own decisions about when to participate and engage with the course materials. The course is graded “Pass/No Pass”, and when you complete it you will have earned one unit of academic credit. Among its other outcomes, the course introduces you to the academic advising system at UCSC, helps you explore your educational goals, prepares you to enroll in fall classes, shows you how to use your MyUCSC portal to enroll in classes, connects you to your online Orientation Leader Team, and reminds you of critical deadlines. Engagement and active participation is expected to pass this course.


Now to those announcements — thank you for reading carefully!:


  1. Our Core Course, Kresge 1: Power and Representation, marks the essential beginning of a contemporary liberal arts education, and sets in motion our work as an intellectual community. The course will orient you to new practices of reading, dialogue, interpretation, and constructive critical thinking that are crucial in the discourse of a university, and crucial to your success in the learning you’ll encounter here. At Kresge, we begin that conversation with reflections on the role of media—a variety of channels of public and private dialogue and culture—in struggles for justice in society. We examine multimedia journalism, non-fiction writing, music, film, and other popular culture. And we’ll begin right away—an aspect of this course will be introduced in your summer orientation course, Kresge 1A, mentioned above. Meanwhile, please watch your email in July for a message with more information on enrollment in fall-quarter Kresge 1.


  1. Kresge College is also the home of your Academic Advising Team. Preceptor Sarah Shane-Vasquez and Academic Advisors Casey Daubert and Thao Mai provide you with all kinds of support—from your transition into research university learning, to helping you give shape to your UCSC experience, and your path toward graduation. They have rich experience and lots of ideas to support your academic success. Your questions to, over the coming months, are most welcome—we’re excited to answer your questions! And when we can’t, we’ll point you in the right direction. The links above help guide you on how to make an appointment with us or visit us in our Zoom-based “walk-in” hours.


  1. In order to get an early enrollment appointment date (to enroll for classes), you must complete Parts 1 and 2 of the orientation process (in your Slug Orientation modules, part of the Kresge 1A course mentioned above), and submit your official test scores and transcripts to admissions by the deadlines. Official transcripts must be sent electronically or postmarked no later than July 1. The deadline for official test scores is July 15. You will receive Part 1 of Slug Orientation on June 21st. You will only receive Part 2 when you complete Part 1. The earlier you complete Parts 1 and 2 of the orientation process, the earlier you will receive your enrollment appointment date. Many UCSC classes fill up quickly so you are strongly encouraged to take advantage of early enrollment to maximize your chances of obtaining a spot in your preferred classes.


Instructions about how to access the Online Orientation process will be sent directly to your UCSC email account. Check your UCSC email account regularly (your email) as it is the official form of communication for the university. In addition to information about academic advising in  Parts 1, 2 and 3 of the Orientation process, you will get information about how to connect directly with your academic advisors this summer as well as contact information for other offices on campus. 




Finally, as you may know, UCSC has transitioned back to an in-person model of learning, for Academic Year 2021-2022, though there are still provisions for some courses to work remotely. Emerging from a year of uncertainty and challenge (including many creative solutions!), it is our deep conviction that Kresge College can give you that sense of home as strongly as ever.


I'm thrilled you'll be joining our resilient and dynamic community on this journey. Again, a warm welcome to you, and thank you for being the heart of Kresge!


Warm regards,

Ben Leeds Carson

Kresge College Provost

1156 High St. / UCSC

Santa Cruz, CA 95064



P.S. To help you stay connected to academic and social events at Kresge, please consider following us on Instagram (@kc_ucsc), Twitter (@KresgeCollege), or Facebook. (But yes, we’ll also send you emails.)

1.  Molly Worthen, “The Anti-College Is on the Rise,” in the New York Times, 8 June 2019. <>


December 4, 2020

Greetings Students, Staff, Faculty, and passionate members of the Kresge College Community!

I write to you with excitement about four fantastic events this coming week -- Monday and Tuesday evenings -- organized by students, mentors, and faculty of Fall 2020's Kresge 1: Power and Representation.
A film festival, a cafe reading, a meta-exhibit, and a multimedia open mic.
Please spread the word, share the fliers and ... (really) mark your calendars.
Each is its own distinct exposition of lovely and amazing tilts toward benevolence, toward creative intervention, toward radical listening and seeing, and toward meaningful reflection on problems of power, representation, and justice in the present moment of our lives. So please join us for the conversation.
All best,
Provost Ben
Kresge1FilmAndVideoReception.png  Monday 7 Dec, 5:30 - 6:30 PM [Reception]
New film and video work addressing contemporary crises ranging from climate justice to domestic violence in the time of COVID-19 | Passcode: 464219
Kresge1ZoomCafe2020.png  Monday, 7 Dec, 7:00 - 8:30 PM
Words and sounds, and maybe a flickering neon sign just outside the window, an energetic something-or-other in the distance. Kresge frosh lyricize and narrate a unique historical moment. | Passcode: 817499
Kresge1CreativeInterventionsExhibits.png  Tuesday 8 Dec, 4:30-6:30 PM 
Gaming, Exhibits, Oral History, and More from Entering Frosh at Kresge College |  Passcode: 006807
Kresge1OpenMicPlenary.png  Tuesday, 8 Dec, 7:00 - 8:30 PM
From prison industrialism to music therapy for mental health, Kresge frosh step to the stage to re-imagine contemporary issues of power, representation, literacy, and justice. | Passcode: 2020--0202
November 18, 2020

Dear Kresge Frosh: You're Almost Done!

Greetings magisterial artisans, indubitable neocreants, drifting anti-dreamers, optimistic naysayers, and otherwise incorrigible and still unrelenting frosh of Kresge College,

Is it only your first quarter? Almost unbelievable. We still have a few hills ahead of us, to climb in to challenges and possibilities of 2021, but my role, and your faculty's roles -- not just in core but in all classes -- are leveling, tapering, slightly, as your voices and your work starts to come forward. I want to thank you all for an inspiring first quarter so far ... a first quarter that has at the very least put something down on record as to what's possible, and given us some hopes to live up to. I especially those of you who took up my invitation, in our first plenary, to "lean in".
All that's left of this email is information I hope you'll take a close look at -- mostly information about how and where we have events at-the-ready to help shape your process in these final projects. But also some slightly more far-reaching information about where our community can go from here:
1. FINAL PROJECT WORK PARTY: Chelsea, Esme, Exodus, and Zofia hope to see you on Friday at 4 pm, as they host the second of two meetings designed to raise our awareness of each other's projects-in-process. Get yourself to, passcode: m1rgqy (+ more information on the poster attached) Friday, 4 pm (November 20), and we'll have a chance to brainstorm a little more, get more questions answered, and hopefully get some more inspiration going on what's possible and available to you as we round the corner to the big night(s) of your final presentations. UNTIL THEN: don't forget about this important google sheet, which is where we need info from you about your project plans, and where (optionally), you can share your proposal with the community.
2. PERFORMANCE-and/or-MUSIC ORIENTED FINAL PROJECTS: Along with 1-2 other faculty and navigators, please join me Tuesday, 24 November 2020, to discuss options for performing your work live in the final week of classes. Some of you have class at 5 - 6:50 pm 11/24, but I'll be on the call until 7, and the vital information about performance opportunities will be repeated at the end of our meeting. Zoom info for this meeting will be added to the calendar event on Monday the 23rd. Please RSVP (to you're interested in planning a performance for December 8, or if you're interested in co-organizing a zoom performance for a smaller audience at a different time. (Time permitting, we may even discuss some methods for writing satirical song lyrics!)
3. A.M. DARKE'S RESOURCES for GAME DEVELOPMENT: As promised, last night's webinar was recorded; please feel free to access it here using your UCSC account (required for access); this is not for wider distribution. And LUCKY US -- we were able to keep the webinar going after 9 PM last night, so that the last 20 minutes of this video (start at about 1hr47min30sec)... will be useful to those interested in game development. Please also see a list of links below my sign-off, which are platforms and resources that Professor Darke refers to in her incredibly useful supplemental presentation.
For more than a decade, Kresge College has been the host of a coalition of students, staff, and faculty dedicated to work--echoing TJ Demos' presentation yesterday--on environmental justice, anti-racist education, and sustainable approaches to world democracy. The Common Ground Center specializes in fostering transformative and collaborative conversations like their popular World Cafe program, and several courses in transformative justice, transformative communication, and a speaker series dedicated to intersections of environmentalism and social justice. Their next World Cafe is titled "Gratitude" -- on Wednesday 25 November -- the day before Thanksgiving -- at 1 pm. (Please visit zoom event 919 6532 6712, passcode "worldcafe".) Contact Puja Vasan or Nona Golan at the Common Ground Center via the link or their emails (cc'd) if you have more questions.
Whew. I think that's about it for now -- thanks if you've read this far in a long email. There is so much more to say -- gratitude for tremendous panelists and conversation last night, gratitude for a sense of forward movement in an uncertain time. As always, please reach out to me if you need help, and let's work together to make the most of our education and community. I'm so excited for December 8, and for the exhibitions and performances ahead of us.
(Don't forget Professor Darke's resources are below!)
All my best,
Provost Ben
Ben Leeds Carson
Provost, Kresge College at U.C. Santa Cruz
Associate Professor of Music
Affiliate in Digital Arts / New Media
1156 High St.
Santa Cruz. CA 95064
Zoom ID: --> passcode: 608213
View office hours via this Calendar (Public) , or visit
[These pertain to the last 20 minutes of our 17 November "Creative Interventions" Plenary Video, accessible via that link & your UCSC account.]
My own game 'Ye or Nay? can be played online between 2 players. Make a room code and share it with a friend.
This was made using the Unity game engine and Photon plugin for networked play. Definitely too complicated to make, but it's an example of a creative intervention. You can read the artist statement by clicking on the game credits in the top right corner once you begin a game.
No programming or art experience necessary:
Electric Zine Maker
Twine: An interactive fiction engine for text-based branching narratives
Twine Games:
Bitsy: entry-level tool for making small pixel-art games
Bitsy Games:
Flickgame: super simple point and click game engine
Familiarity with basic programming concepts is helpful:
Processing: A tool for creative code that can make games and other visual interactive work.
Also P5.js for folks more comfortable with javascript. This one is easier to use.
Processing and P5.js Games:



Friday November 13,2020

Greetings to entering Transfer Students!

I’m so honored to welcome you to the University of California, Santa Cruz! If you’re getting this, you’re among our newest admits, and you’ve been assigned to Kresge College. 


You’re set to enter our community in the winter quarter. And what a winter this will be! It hardly needs to be mentioned that your experience of beginning a UC Santa Cruz education will be unlike any we’ve known before. I want you to know that at Kresge College, we’re motivated and excited to make this a great start for you, and I hope you share my excitement.


Kresge is a college of writers and readers, scientists and poets, journalists and agro-ecologists... single parents, military veterans, life-long learners, immigrants, Santa Cruz locals, and mixtures of all of the above. Kresge is the home of Science Communication and City-on-a-Hill Press, and the roots of women's studies; we are a community that, for many generations, has been deeply committed to participatory democracy. We're a place for economists, artists, service-learners, and astronomers... and the home of UCSC’s LGBTQIA+ pride parade. But the true heart of our unique college can be found, dating back to the words of our very first course catalogues in the early 1970s: At Kresge, we pride ourselves in being a college that constantly reinvents itself to welcome the newest voices in our community. What will Kresge become, with you, our newest members, as our leaders?


Kresge College has a rich tradition of supporting transfer students, and we welcome you and your families to make yourself at home at Services for Transfer and Re-entry Students (STARS) on the second floor of our Academic Building. STARS is dedicated to serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and needs, and provides mentorship, counseling, student leadership opportunities, events, and comfortable study spaces. We also join forces with STARS to offer Kresge 25: Successful Transfer to the Research University, a popular and intrepid curriculum designed just for transfer students. This 2-unit course is designed to help you make a well-informed and supported transition into our university with a sense of purpose, and a greater awareness of the distinctive opportunities of a liberal arts education at a research university. (Complete this form by November 17th to express interest in the course.) When you enroll, you’ll have an opportunity to select a section with a distinct area emphasis relevant to your own disciplinary or interdisciplinary academic goals. I also invite you to consider some of the other courses we offer at Kresge that can contribute to your growth as a scholar, activist, naturalist, and communicator.


Kresge College Academic Advising Team — Preceptor Sarah Shane-Vasquez, and Academic Advisers Casey Daubert and Thao Mai. Sarah, Thao, and Casey provide you with all kinds of support—from your transition into research university learning, to helping you give shape to your UCSC experience, and your path toward graduation. Write to with any questions you might have, and we are ready to meet you--either by appointment or during our popular zoom “walk-in” hours. 


I hope you will make powerful use of your new intellectual home at Kresge College. Students often fulfill many of their degree requirements with Kresge courses, on topics ranging from agroecology to media studies, from cooperative management to grant-writing. We hope you’ll explore Kresge deeply, and be involved in the many smaller communities that combine to weave the fabric of our college. 


I'm thrilled you'll be joining us on this journey. Welcome to UCSC, and thank you for being the heart of Kresge!



July 1, 2020

Guest Commentary | Ending police presence at UCSC is first step

Submitted by UC Santa Cruz faculty

On June 2, the Movement for Black Lives called for a day of action focused on university divestment from the police. By that evening, seventy UCSC faculty had signed a letter to UCSC Chancellor Cynthia Larive asking her to end police and ICE presence on campus; to establish an advisory board to monitor campus police activity; and to create offices of community nonviolence in conjunction with a transparent budgeting process.

The week before, University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel announced—in response to a powerful statement from UM Student Body President Jael Kerandi—the limiting of university collaborations with the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD). On June 2, Minneapolis Public Schools terminated their contract with MPD. And on June 7, Minneapolis’s City Council pledged to dismantle the police department and institute alternative structures. Black activists have long called for the demilitarizing, defunding, and dismantling of a police system that far from protecting all, actively reproduces racial violence and social inequality. As cities and campuses across the nation take up this call, our largest public university system should be a leader.

Two recent studies have shown that UC campus police disproportionately stop, search, and arrest Black and Latino members of their communities. Despite 200 incidents of reported use of force, the UCPD has disclosed almost no records in the interest of police transparency or accountability, nor has its transparency and accountability website been updated since 2016. Because the UCPD, like California Highway Patrol, enjoys statewide jurisdiction and authority, its actions extend beyond campus. Armed with military-grade respirators and canisters of tear gas, UCSC and UCB police were patrolling Oakland streets last week. On June 1, hundreds of protesters in Los Angeles were detained and processed, without university permission, at UCLA’s Jackie Robinson Stadium. When UCLA declared that none of its facilities may be so used, it recognized that the university is not a carceral space.

UCSC itself drew national headlines in February when—at a cost of $300,000 a day—it enlisted local and state police, equipped with riot gear and military surveillance technology, to contain peaceful demonstrations in support of graduate students striking for a living wage. Seventeen students were arrested, and some sustained injuries. Beyond the initial deployment of police, the culture of policing has become business as usual in UCSC’s response to the protests. Even as the campus has been almost entirely closed due to the pandemic, and in the midst of the national uprisings, UCSC has continued to pursue student conduct charges against several dozen strikers and protesters. A disproportionate number of Black, Latino, indigenous, queer, trans, and undocumented students have faced being banned from campus, dismissed from employment, and, in the process, they are suffering grave harm to their academic and financial futures.

Only last week, UCSC students engaging in protest actions were again targeted. A SCPD Instagram post on June 4 (“A Tale of Two Protests”) contrasted the previous day’s West Cliff gathering of 6,000 people with protest actions later that evening, and singled out UCSC graduate students as holding “a different intention of destruction.” For the university to maintain ties with a police force that sees our own students as bad actors diminishes its core mission. Education is not the same thing as “law and order” control, surveillance, discipline, and punishment. Surely now is the time for UCSC and the UC to redress punitive responses to the constitutionally recognized right to protest.

When we call for the university to defund and divest from the police, we are asking it that it acknowledge how its everyday operating practices reproduce underlying structures of racism and inequity. Resources moved out of policing can support the infrastructure of the university we want: Ethnic Resource Centers, anti-hate/bias training, offices dedicated to nonviolence and community justice, living wages for graduate student workers and adjunct lecturers, greater financial and academic support for undergraduates. The list is long; ending police and ICE presence on our campuses is the first step.

Submitted by faculty at UC Santa Cruz: Vilashini Cooppan, Carla Freccero, Christine Hong, Nick Mitchell, T.J. Demos, Karen Bassi, Ben Leeds Carson.



We write to you as your Provost, Senior and Associate Directors, Groundskeeper, College Programs Staff, Housing and Housing Office Coordinators, Lead Preceptor/Advisor, and neighbors at Kresge College. We hope this note finds you well and we hope you are staying connected with friends, family, and loved ones.

We write to you about the repeated appearance of profane graffiti at Kresge, reflecting anger at the UC and anger at UCSC’s higher administration. The problem has persisted long enough that we feel we need to give some voice to our experience of it, and we hope you’ll raise your voices with us. We suspect that the perpetrators are not Kresge or Porter students—this is just not how we do things here—but we don’t know for sure, and we want it to stop.

The graffiti is cowardly. Meaningful protest reflects coalition and solidarity, and it speaks truth to power. The graffiti does neither—it lacks imagination and purpose, and if it is intended to afflict or annoy the UC administration, by vandalizing one of our most remote and tightly-knit communities, it has missed its target by a mile. Kresge staff and students have supported student orgs, unions, cooperatives, and others, who have protested meaningfully to demand accessible public education, racial justice, intellectual freedom, labor rights, labor equity, and more. We want to hear reasoned protest and dissent. We do not want our homes destroyed.

The graffiti harms students. Like all of us, students still living at Kresge—who are nearly the only ones who see the graffiti—are likely to be experiencing challenging reductions in security, community, amenities, and services. 

The graffiti harms staff. It damages the work environment, and adds stress and burden, to workers who spend hours, some of them in harm’s way, to maintain a living environment already under exceptional duress.

We imagine that many of you share our feelings about this, and have more to say. We look forward to turning a corner toward sanity and comfort in our campus home. Thank you for reading and we invite you to spread the word. 

Your neighbors,

Ben Leeds Carson, Kresge College Provost

Mike Yamauchi-Gleason, Senior Director of College Student Life

Kathy Cooney, Associate Director of College Student Life

Katharina Pierini, Groundskeeper at Kresge College

Aidan Johnston, Assistant College Programs Coordinator

Labris Willendorf, College Academic Programs Coordinator

Raven Iverson-Davis, Housing Office Coordinator

D.J. Bell, Housing Coordinator

Sarah Shane-Vasquez, Lead Academic Preceptor


February 18, 2020

Greetings undergrads of all stripes and strategies, uncompromising undertakers, fantastic fellows, and fabulously fired-up firebrands of Kresge College,

Just two reminders — in case these aren't already in your calendar:


  1. Come to our DEEP READ Tea and Cookies tomorrow!... Wednesday, February 19, at 4:00 PM — or if you're on the other side of the picket line, or just can't make it physically, follow this zoom link to be here digitally. We'll relax from 4-5, but around 5 we'll read a little of Atwood's The Testaments together. (Note: this was previously advertised with a different theme and date, but stay tuned for a correction on that one!)


  1. Don't forget that the Reyna Grande Scholarship deadline is March 2. See the attached flyer, and visit for more information. I really hope you'll take a risk — and submit a proposal!... even if you're still not 100% what you want to do.

All my best,

Provost Ben

February 10, 2020

To Kresge and Oakes Students, on Intellectual Freedom - from Provosts Ben Carson & Marcia Ochoa:

Dear Students of Kresge and Oakes Colleges,

Last week we learned that graduate students at UCSC will begin a strike this week to improve their compensation and working conditions. The strike started today, Monday, February 10th, and the strikers have not set an end date. This follows a grade strike that began at the end of Fall quarter. Both strikes were initiated independently of their union representation, in part because the union representing graduate students is bound by a contract affecting all UC System campuses. The concerns of our graduate students on this campus are specific to the cost-of-living issues we face in Santa Cruz. In a meeting earlier this month, the administration offered to pause its disciplinary actions toward striking graduate students, if graduate students would pause their strike action.

That de-escalation may still be around the corner, and we can hope for it. However, on Friday, February 6, in anticipation of this week’s strike, the administration took an additional action that deserves our special and critical attention at Oakes and Kresge Colleges. They asked you to report courses and their instructors, by name, to the administration, either

  1. if/when classes are canceled or re-positioned as a result of the picket line, or
  2. if/when the content of lectures isn’t what you expected according to the syllabus, including, for example, if the content includes any discussion of the strike or the conditions that led to it.

You have all taken core courses, at Oakes — Communicating Diversity for a Just Society — or at Kresge — Power and Representation, and with your experiences in those courses you might describe the administration’s request in rhetorical terms. The administration represented a concern with your education, and asked for information about classroom disruptions. In the same expression, the administration asked for information about the choices that your teachers make. Was the lecture aligned with the syllabus, did they teach you what you expected, did they make a decision related to a picket line, was it practical, or political, or both? We invite you to consider these questions through the lens you developed in Core.

As Provosts, we are here to provide guidance as you enter the University and make your way through your degrees. We are not here to compel you toward any one perspective in this difficult strike, but rather to encourage you to think critically. We think it is part of the privilege and duty of a university education to aspire to principles of free expression and free inquiry. You always have the freedom to express your thoughts and grievances to the administration — you can report the need for more electives that fulfill a particular GE requirement, more representation of trans- or non-binary histories, report an instructor’s discussion of the strike, or request more quarters of advanced Arabic. Alongside those freedoms, Kresge and Oakes Colleges also champion the same principles for your instructors — we believe that their freedom to teach, in the ways they deem most relevant and meaningful, to be part of what makes a truly great college education at UCSC. We are concerned that the reporting form creates a climate of surveillance for instructors, especially TAs and Lecturers, who choose to participate in strike actions or who discuss the strike in class. This goes against our principles of academic freedom.

You have all experienced a number of disruptions since you arrived at UC Santa Cruz. Our country continues to wage war, we have become used to the travel ban and inhumane immigration detention and border patrol policies. We’ve all experienced the effects of climate change in the PGE power outages of the Fall quarter. Many of you have done without grades in some of your Fall classes due to strike actions. These disruptions, of course, come on top of the big changes in your life that are part of starting college. We as Provosts want you to consider these disruptions as part of your experience of the social forces we’ve begun to understand through Core. We encourage you to use the critical thinking and reading skills you practiced in Core, as well as the communities of engagement and discussion you’ve developed so far to consider the disruptions facing you now. Be part of the conversation — ask questions and tell people what you think.

We want you to share your concerns with us when you have them. As your Provosts we would love to hear from you. Your Advising and Student Life teams, as well as many other campus resources, are also here to hear your concerns and help. As Provosts, we have already made accommodations for academic review given the grading strike. We support the graduate students who are taking a stand against the impossible cost of living in Santa Cruz, and we also see that this impacts our students. We believe the strikers are sensitive to these concerns, and we are here to support you, our students, through the strike. We expect the University of California to provide opportunities for education that are accessible, and that build the educated society in which we aspire to live, and we hope the strike is resolved soon in a way that allows our graduate students and TAs to focus on the teaching and research they are here to do.


Ben Leeds Carson, Provost — Kresge College

Marcia Ochoa, Interim Provost — Oakes College

January 28, 2020

Greetings current students new and old, cybernetic luminaries, would-be mastodon-riders, ancien-regime mental gymnasts, and distinguished palindromes of Kresge College,


How have your first two weeks of winter quarter been going? (Yes, you can really answer that question—reply to me ... or see below, if you want to answer it anonymously!) 

The fall of 2019 offered us some unique challenges—power outages were just the beginning, really—but it was a quarter of plentiful rewards, thanks to excellent collaboration among our faculty, staff, and especially our entering students of the last four years. (I mention “entering students of the last four years”, because of what a great role so many of you have played in helping us redesign and perfect one of UCSC’s favorite core courses.) And now we want your help in making it even better.

For our next step on that journey, please come to next month’s Tea and Cookies—Wednesday, February 20 at 4:00 PM. The theme is “Comment Box"—I’ve created an online comment box that’s off the UCSC grid, anonymous/private and doesn’t need any login info. I’ve also left the form open to long responses—so you'll feel comfortable telling me whatever you feel like telling me, about your academic experience at Kresge College. Can you return the favor? Please try to be succinct, and please submit only one response. It will be easier for us to make a difference in your learning experience here, if we get comments that are focused and thoughtful. Thank you!

More crucial announcements:

  1. As a reminder—Family Day is this coming Saturday, February 1, 10:00 AM-noon at the Porter-Kresge Dining Hall. Please invite your loved ones, friends, parents, siblings, and family of all kinds, to join us. We’ll have coffee and pastries starting at 9:30 AM, and the official stuff—an update on the Kresge Rebuild process, conversations with Kresge and Porter students, and more—beginning at 10.


  1. Last year, first-generation Kresge graduate and critically acclaimed author Reyna Grande and I got together to start a scholarship for students doing creative work that advances the standing and visibility of Latin American communities, histories, cultures, and identities. The scholarship is open to all students, regardless of major. Applicants must submit a proposal of their creative work, including but not limited to work in arts, creative writing, digital media or gaming, music, or theater and dance. For more details please see the Reyna Grande Scholarship page, and submit your application before March 1.


  1. Bet you didn’t know these five fun facts— did you know Kresge Parliament meets Thursdays from 7:15 - 8:45 PM in the Kresge Student Lounge? Or how about that Kresge Parliament is one of the best ways to have a voice in making Kresge a better place? Did you know that you can meet an academic advisor without an appointment, by checking this drop-in schedule? And—little known fact—did you know how easy it is to book an appointment? Did you know that the Kresge is hosting a Study Abroad Peer adviser, right here in our own Advising Office, on three more Thursdays this quarter (at 10:00 AM: January 30, February 13, and March 5)?


  1. Last but not least: did you know Kresge 1: Power and Representation has a sequel? It’s called Kresge 2: Power and Representation in Media—and it’s a 5-credit joint venture of Kresge College and Film and Digital Media and it fulfills the IM general-education requirement. This spring the course will be taught by our newest faculty member, Kathryn McQueen. Dr. McQueen’s teaching and research interests include: narratives of crime and justice, literary journalism, and Central European literary history. Kate also volunteers as an editorial advisor to Wall City magazine and San Quentin News, two prisoner-run publications at California's San Quentin State Prison. I hope you’ll think about adding this course to your spring schedule.


You’re making my day if you read this far! And hopefully it was well worth your while. Thank you for spreading the news of our events, and courses, however you see fit. And thank you for being the heart of Kresge!


All my best,



Ben Leeds Carson

Kresge College Provost

Associate Professor of Music





September 26, 2019

Greetings entering Kresge Students!

I hope you are as excited as I am for the beginning of your UC Santa Cruz experience. As the College Provost, I won’t be the only one to tell you that Kresge is a special place. I hope you'll be inspired here by the power of a truly committed, and passionate community. We are a community that distinguishes itself with an emphasis on critical social dialogue, media literacy, productive dissent, and a consensus-oriented approach to decision-making. But the true heart of our unique college can be found, dating back to the words of our very first course catalogues in the early 1970s: At Kresge, we pride ourselves in being a college that constantly reinvents itself to welcome the newest voices in our community. What will Kresge become, with you, our newest members, as our leaders?


For those of you who are frosh: one of the courses that will mark the beginning of your college degree is Kresge 1 — Power and Representation. Kresge 1 is at least two kinds of courses. First, it is an introduction to how we strive to read, write, converse, and cultivate knowledge in universities—this is a class that prepares you to do well at UCSC by igniting the kinds of critical engagement and dialogue that are at the heart of higher education. Second, it is our "core" course, reflecting Kresge’s academic focus on how power and representation work in our society. You’ll learn more about that theme soon, but for now—think of Kresge 1 as a course that will serve as a focusing lens for many dialogues that you and your classmates, along with Kresge faculty and staff, will explore through the years of your work on this degree.


Kresge College may be your residential home for only a fraction of your time at UCSC, but we are your intellectual home for the whole of your college experience, all the way to graduation. Students often fulfill many of their degree requirements with Kresge courses, on topics ranging from agroecology to media studies, from cooperative management to grant-writing. We hope you’ll explore Kresge deeply, and be involved in the many smaller communities that combine to weave the fabric of our college. 


I'm thrilled you'll be joining us on this journey. Welcome to your first university course, and thank you for being the heart of Kresge!


Warm regards,

Ben Leeds Carson

Kresge College Provost

1156 High St. / UCSC

Santa Cruz, CA 95064




April 26, 2019

Dear Kresge Students!

How is your spring quarter going?

I know that for some, the third quarter of a long year can be “burn-out” time, or a time of uncertainty about your plans and next steps. This comes with the territory of the hard work you’re doing—and I don’t just mean in classes, I mean in everything. It’s been a long year for many in our community—some of our families work in parts of the country affected by fire, drought, and flooding. Others’ security, or livelihood, is threatened by presidential and other political rhetoric on gender identity, mental health, immigration, and more—including, this morning, the Pentagon’s mobilization to remilitarize our border with Mexico. And of course many among us experience challenges that can’t fit easily into any summary.  Please reach out to me, or advising or residence life staff, if we might be able to offer you support. And don’t deny yourself the strength that can be found in connecting with your family, friends, and mentors who have earned your trust.

I’m also writing today to share some important announcements! Please read through all four points below —

  1. Summer enrollment opens May 1st.
Have you thought about making progress toward your degree this summer? Summer Session is a perfect time offers a change of pace, a fresh start, and a range of truly exciting small classes that might not fit in your academic schedule in other quarters. You can complete a GE requirement, find an enriching 2-credit class, or even take a class completely online in just five weeks. Kresge’s courses — open to all students regardless of affiliation! — include Writing Lab (65Wl in sessions 1 and 2), Service Learning (12A), Introduction to Grant Writing & National Service (12C), and the Kresge Garden Cooperative (63).
Session 1, June 24 - July 26
Session 2, July 29 - August 30
8-week Session, June 24 - August 16
10-week Session, June 24 - August 31
Information on Summer Session, course offerings, and housing is at (See details on fees, financial aid, and refund policies at this site too.)
  1. Kresge Community Award nominations

We'd like to recognize our exemplary leaders and community members, and we need your help! Please help us identify and please nominate Kresge students, staff, and faculty who have made a positive difference, big or small, in the college or local community. Award recipients will be honored at a reception in the Kresge Provost's House in June. Please remind your friends to nominate as well.

  1. TOMORROW: Fiesta fundraiser benefiting student scholarships at UCSC, including the Reyna Grande scholarship.

This Saturday (4/27), if you or someone with looking for some fancy entertainment, join members of the campus community for live music, free dessert, and a photo booth at the Museum of Art and History in downtown Santa Cruz. Tickets benefit UCSC’s/ Latin American and Latina/o Studies’ Research Center for the Americas, and Kresge’s Reyna Grande Scholarship, so with apologies to those of you for whom this is out-of-reach (a $20 student-donor rate, otherwise $30), we are still trying to help these great causes, by spreading the word.

  1. Why not put the Provost’s Tea and Cookies on your calendar!

Break your usual routine with Kresge’s best open secret — the fast-growing underground phenomenon of tea and light refreshments at the Kresge Provost House. You read that right. Come to chat with and advisor, the Provost, and other students, about how things are going. Or just get some down-time with a good warm beverage and some yummy cookie energy. (We also have a variety of healthy and vegan snacks.) And please feel free to bring a friend! Wednesday, May 15th from 4:00 - 6:00 pm. Come as you are!


Thanks for reading this far (that’s all the required stuff—). I also want you to know, though, that I think every day about the wide variety of paths that Kresge Students have shared with me — both their paths to Kresge, from so many different walks of life, and the paths they aspire to take in their education and future — and although our struggles are wide-ranging and sometimes overwhelming, I’m grateful to be a part of a college that helps so many students overcome obstacles and thrive in their aspirations, and Kresge wants to do even more.

Spring can also be a time of excitement for what’s to come, a time of asking new questions, finding new communities, finding new opportunities to laugh, and unexpected forms of family and friendship. And don’t forget sight of the new growth on the branches of the lovely redwoods and Douglas fir that give Kresge so much of its sense of strength and belonging. This positive side, too, is different for all of us, but in each case, can be an opportunity for renewal. Again, I hope you all feel free to reach out to me, or to an advisor, or another member of our faculty or staff, to share your experiences and your struggles. Please consider making an appointment with me (, or stopping by Office Hours (Tuesdays at 10:30 AM, or Fridays at 10 AM).

My best regards,


Ben Leeds Carson

Kresge College Provost

Associate Professor of Music

Kresge College Office




January 4, 2019

Happy New Year Kresgians, and welcome back!

Don’t skip this email! There are funding opportunities in it! And other opportunities, too—to warm our spirits in a cold January, and set us on the best paths for a year we hope will be full of possibility!

First—mark you calendars for Tea & Cookies! January 23rd and February 20th from 4-6pm — as always, at the Provost residence. This is your chance for a little pre-dinner dessert, or a chance to tell Ben how you liked your first quarter here, or maybe just a chance to relax and feel a change of scene for a little while between your other commitments. Feel free to bring a mug, a friend, or just come as you are.

And you won’t want to miss Media and Society this quarter — in case this wasn’t on your radar before, Media and Society is an extension of our core course, with lectures that build on many of your core experiences thinking about rhetoric, society, power, representation. We’ve got three riveting talks this winter:

  • “Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism” with Associate Professor Safiya Noble on February 12th at the Kresge Town Hall at 7pm. Dr. Noble has spoken recently at Stanford University, and at conferences, museums and other universities in England, Germany, Canada, New York.
  • “Telling My Truth: Creative Writing and Journalism” with Reyna Grande on February 19th at the Kresge Town Hall at 7pm. Reyna Grande (Kresge '99) is the winner of the American Book Award, the El Premio Aztlán Literary Award, and the International Latino Book Award, and she recently published her second memoir, A Dream Called Home. In this talk, she'll discuss how creative writing helped her find true representation, a voice, and a sense of purpose in a larger world.
  • Sally Lehrman is the senior director of the journalism ethics program at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. On March 5th she’ll be giving a talk related to her work as director of the Trust Project, an international consortium of news organizations that focuses on transparency and accountability. 7pm at Kresge Town Hall.

Third: I’m thrilled to announce the inaugural year of a new scholarship, which is in honor of one our esteemed alumna, Reyna Grande. The Reyna Grande Scholarship is awarded annually to a Kresge student whose creative work, either in arts departments or in creative writing, is intended to advance the standing and visibility of Latinx culture and history, promote positive outcomes for Latinx communities, or otherwise strengthen awareness and dialogue on Latinx identity. To apply, please click here to read more, and note that the deadline is February 1, 2019.

I also urge you to apply for the following to support your endeavours at UCSC, whether they are artistic, service-oriented, or research-focused:


We also are excited to announce an essay contest for all Kresge College students. You are invited to submit entries in up to two of the following categories for a chance to win a $150 prize:

  1. Write an open letter about what it meant for you personally and/or professionally to hear Jose Antonio Vargas speak at UCSC back in November 2017.
  2. Write an open letter about what Kresge’s Core class has meant to you: criticism welcome.
  3. Write an open letter about what it meant for you personally and/or professionally to hear Martha Mendoza speak at UCSC in November 2018.
    • Each letter must be a maximum of 1 page single-spaced, 12-point font.
    • You can submit up to two entries
  • Deadline: February 15th, 2019

That’s all for now — thanks to everyone who read this far. Have a wonderful winter quarter and keep in touch!


Ben, Sarah, & Beth

Provost | Preceptor | CAPC




November 1, 2018

Dear Cherished Kresge Alumni, Staff, and Faculty,


The deep and broad community of Kresge College has expressed so much sadness in these last few days, to say a very fond farewell to Professor Helene Moglen, who passed away on October 18. The debt we owe to Helene—a professor of Literature and Feminist Studies, Dean of Arts of Humanities, and Provost of Kresge College from 1978 to 1983—is great; not only for her foundational leadership, but in the many years since then, as her voice has returned, reliably, to remind us of who we are, and to help us build strengths in the present and future. She is survived by Sheila Namir, her partner since 2001, whom she married in 2016; her sister Glorya Hale; her sons Eben, Damon and Seth; and her three grandchildren, Dylan, Pierre, and Morgan Moglen. An online guestbook is available where words of remembrance may be read and expressed; donations may be made in her memory to the Center for Cultural Studies at UC Santa Cruz.


In her own testimony, and in that of former Campus Provost Robert Kliger, Provost Moglen was a tremendous force in moving Kresge—always an intense college, and sometimes a troubled one, with a complex and difficult early history—into a new era of openness, connection, and visibility to the larger world around us. And she cherished that work, deeply:


I loved being provost. It really was a way of working with young people very creatively … around the edges of what was possible, and trying to resolve problems in informal ways that made a lot of sense. And at that time it was possible.


Helene gave generously of her time to those who asked. As I began as Provost three years ago, she urged me to work thoughtfully but collaboratively, and offered many gifts of experience in support of that; despite her already long service to this campus, she always wanted to give more. She recognized, to me, the 'storied' Kresge as a thriving center of the most visionary, the most verdant, the most thoughtfully radical, and Romantic commitments to everyday greatness. Yet she understood just as much that we are a place with vulnerabilities and unmet potentials—and happily, a place where the future opens seemingly beyond normal institutional limits.


Professor Moglen was a scholar of, among other things, writing-as-activism, and of conscious pedagogy. No wonder then, that she distinguished herself as a Provost, giving Kresge a forward edge of accountability and justice. In her tenure she persuaded both the American Studies and History of Consciousness programs to reside in our remote woods, and by all accounts, she transported Kresge’s rich aspirational tradition, intact, into a present world that could make sense to a whole, diverse community. A community in which power, with all its flaws and challenges, would at least be visible, open to criticism, and ready for meaningful influence by otherwise marginal voices.


Helene’s contributions to all of UCSC over many years—to the Cultural Studies Colloquium, to teachers’ and learners’ organizing efforts, and in support of public education—were full and vital. She was a scholar and writer of possibly unparalleled richness in our community; at the same time, to her conversations with so many of us, she brought the modest warmth and love of an ever-attentive and unassuming friend. She will be intensely missed, and yet her presence felt, by a community in which collaboration might still truly be possible. Thank you, Helene, for all you have brought to us.


Peace profound,



Ben Leeds Carson

Kresge College Provost




April 25, 2018

Dear friends, family, and alumni of Kresge College!

We're excited to announce a new way to be a part of Kresge’s increasingly vital network of support: The Kresge College Annual Fund.

As many of you know, Kresge’s endowment is perilously small—the smallest among UCSC’s colleges. We are buoyed by generous one-time donations that support specific projects, but each year, to fulfill core missions, we find we must stretch dwindling state funds further and further. We think Kresge students deserve more. So we’re asking you, as cherished Kresge affiliates, and on the eve of our exciting rebuild, to give. Help us restore a tradition of intrepid, participatory education, and put Kresge on a path toward true renewal. Donate today.

Want to learn more about our vision for this new fund? We’d love to have your input.

You’ve already given so much to Kresge, and your commitment to the annual fund can be transformative. We hope you’ll consider contributing.

Adolfo Mercado
Kresge '98
Kresge Alumni Advisory Board Member

Ben Leeds Carson

Kresge Provost




February 27, 2018

Dear Kresge Students,

Tomorrow is Giving Day — a chance for the wider community to make a difference in what we do here at Kresge College.

Kresge lives to educate, and educates to live. One important piece of the Kresge community is the varied energy and inspiration of its cooperative student organizations: the Food Coop, the Garden Coop, the Photography Coop, and the Music Coop. For Giving Day this year, we are asking alumni, and our broader community, to donate to the cooperatives, and specifically to support new student-driven initiatives toward their publicity, development, fora, and educational opportunities.

Please help spread the word about our project with anyone in your network that might be interested in helping out. And ... I don’t make this next request lightly ... but if you feel comfortable doing so, please also consider reaching out to your own family, or giving something small yourself. A large number of even very small donations (even as little as $5) sends a *powerful* message about who we are, and how much we care about our community, to other prospective financial partners in Kresge’s future. Of course, you already give to Kresge in many ways. Your commitment to your fellow students, to our intellectual community, to service and leadership, to our nurturing of compassion, conversations about justice, and our respect for consensus-building and productive dissent—in short your commitment to full participation in our community—is among the greatest gifts we could hope for.

If anyone you know is interested in donating to Kresge’s Giving Day project, please let them know that the time to give is any time tomorrow, February 28th — and it’s tax-deductible. 

We’d especially like to encourage Kresge supporters to donate between 6:00-8:00 p.m., which would put us in the running for a matching donation, if our project receives the largest number of unique donations. And we are sharing updates and links via Facebook and Twitter, so please do follow us if you don’t already!

With appreciation,

Ben Leeds Carson
Kresge College Provost




January 10, 2018

Provost Ben Leeds Carson wrote a letter to the LA Times about the easy stereotyping of UC Santa Cruz: "An education at UC Santa Cruz? We'd all be lucky to have one"


January 7, 2018

Dear Studnets of Kresge College,



Welcome home to Kresge! And I know I speak for all returning students when I offer a warm welcome the many new transfer students who join our community at the start of this quarter. For decades, Kresge has openly strived to make its newest members the heart of the community. Let’s honor that tradition by hearing their voices and making this just as much their home as it is the home of longtime Kresge citizens.


More than any college at UCSC, Kresge is known for students who take initiative, and who shape their college experience in collaboration with its notoriously passionate faculty and staff. Informally, we're also the “transfer college”—claiming among the highest numbers of transfers year by year, and serving as the host of UCSC’s Services for Transfer And Reorientation Students (STARS). We’re proud that the current president of the UCSC Alumni Council, Kresge alumnus Adolfo Mercado, was also a transfer student, and his continuing involvement in the life of UCSC attests to the importance of the transfer community in making us who we are today.

Now for some important announcements — mark your calendars!

  • Still looking for another 2 credits in your schedule? Try enrolling in Provost Carson’s Kresge 18: Natural History Practicum, a popular course now for more than two years. Despite the official listed time, we’re bumping it forward 15 minutes to Tuesdays at 8:00 AM. That might seem early, but it’s worth it — join us to learn about observing the complex wilderness + human habitat of the UCSC campus. It features 5 amazing guests who take us on some of the best nature hikes you can hope to experience.

  • January 24th and February 22nd, 4:00-5:30 pm (Provost House) — Tea and Cookies. Here’s a chance to break your usual routine to come by my place for a chat about how things are going ... or just get some down time with a warm beverage and snacks. And feel free to bring a friend!

  • January 25th at 7:10 PM (Kresge Town Hall) — Winona La Duke, an activist who “spent years successfully fighting the Sandpiper pipeline, a pipeline similar to Dakota Access” (Democracy Now!), and director of Honor the Earth, promises to be one of the high-points of our Common Ground Center series. Her talk will address Standing Rock, the importance fo divestment campaigns, and investing in the “New Energy Economy.”

  • February 13th at 5:30 PM (Kresge Seminar Room) Martha Mendoza, our second Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist this year—and a Kresge alum!—will be the next guest of Kresge’s Media and Society Series. A contributor to Bloomberg and the Washington Post, Mendoza specializes in reporting on immigration and human trafficking, poverty, the environment, and the economics Silicon Valley. Join us afterwards for a pizza reception at the Provost Residence. RSVP here or email Beth Hernandez-Jason

  • March 6th at 5:30 PM (Kresge Seminar Room) — Conn Hallinan joins the Media and Society Series (see above) to retell the history of journalism, and to invite students to a critical inquiry into our relationship with the news. Conn is a former Provost of Kresge College, a columnist for Foreign Policy in Focus, and a blogger at Dispatches from the Edge.


Finally, as a reminder, the deadline for the Student Project Fund is tomorrow —submit your application to Beth Hernandez-Jason by midnight on January 8th. The second round of applications are due February 8th, so if you’re not quite ready now, you still have time.  


Happy New Year, and please stay warm!


Ben Leeds Carson

Provost, Kresge College | UCSC


Email Provost Ben Leeds Carson at

Archived messages from the Provost:

November 2017 - Annual report

March 2017

February 2017

February 2016

See Also